When looking at various lenses you will see the camera manufacturer lenses made by the camera manufacturer. Then you will see other 3rd party lenses (Tamron, Sigma, etc). Does it pay to get the manufacture lens over the 3rd party lens?
I ask because I have seen some lenses price vary drastically between two lenses.
Here is an example, this Nikkor Lens is priced at $586 (USD) while this Sigma Lens with the same specifications is priced at $169. That is a $417 dollar price difference! With the lower price I would assume lower quality?
Note: I do understand that this can and does vary depending on the manufacturer, model of lens, etc. The answer I am looking for is 1) What is the general rule of thumb? (if there is one) And 2) What do other photographers generally buy?
Edit 2 - After reading this question and answers I guess my question comes down to this: Does the higher price lens always reflect better quality regardless of it being 3rd party or not?